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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

It’s time to move on: Farewell Dell, hello Samsung

Samsung logoI write this blog post with some regret, as I’ve really enjoyed my time at Dell, but also with a lot of excitement as I’m moving onto to work at the number 1 brand in Asia, at a time of massive growth.

I have made mistakes in my career, particularly during my early career in Australia. Sure, nothing major – more missed opportunities, paths not taken and the pettiness of office politics as you climb the corporate ladder. But sometimes I think back and wonder “what was I doing?”. I have been given some amazing opportunities to work on some of the best brands in the world (such as Coca-Cola, Citibank and Australia’s own NRMA) but I either I feel that I hadn’t worked there long enough to really do more (I’d love to spend many years really building out great digital initiatives), or that I didn’t have the authority to make lasting, positive change.

Because of this, I made a very deliberate decision to work my arse off, be more than just an employee and do my absolute best to bring a lot of value above and beyond the job description to my next employer. I then made the best decision of my life – I moved to Singapore. This is where it has all started to pay off.

I believe my last 5 years in Singapore have been the best of my life and my career. When I moved to Singapore to join Ogilvy & Mather, I loved it! The country, my role(s) and the brands I had the privilege to work with. At Ogilvy, I was encouraged to network, discuss the cutting edge of what’s possible in digital, and actively promote Ogilvy’s work through social media. This later became the foundation of my industry thought leadership work (that I’ve continued through my role at Dell and now at Samsung). During my time at Ogilvy, I was honoured to be the first leader of Neo@Ogilvy in Singapore, and I founded Ogilvy’s digital and CRM conflict agency, Soho Square.

Then came my time at Dell. Wow! I have sincerely enjoyed working at Dell as their Online Director – Asia Pacific & Japan and Global Social Media Director. I love Dell’s products - sure, there have been some misfires but I believe Dell is on the right track. In my opinion Alienware is the best laptop or PC you can buy (I own 2 of them). Dell is also doing very well its transformation to become a B2B software, services and technology solutions provider. As far as job scope, I managed their online sales and marketing in Asia. Of course, Dell is the pioneer of e-commerce (the first company to hit $1m/day in e-commerce revenue, one of the first to launch eSupport and online discussion forums) and across Dell.com, eTail partners (Taobao, 360Buy, Suning, Amazon, eBay, etc.), mobile and social commerce Dell makes well over US $1 billion in online sales in Asia. It was my job to manage and grow this revenue. As far as I know, it’s the biggest e-commerce job in Asia (well, except for the guys running Amazon, eBay or Tencent of course). And it’s been an amazing experience. In addition, I’ve had the pleasure of leading or being involved in many of Dell’s social media sales & marketing initiatives. Dell is the number 1 social business and has been a pioneer with initiatives like IdeaStorm, DellSwarm, monetising Twitter, Dell TechCenter, socialising the Dell.com purchase path and the launch of Dell’s Social Media Listening Command Centre (to listen and respond to over 25,000 social media conversations every day about the Dell brand).

Now I’m moving onto Samsung Asia. I’m starting on Monday 6th August. My new role is Regional Marketing Director, Digital & Social Media. This is a newly created role that comes with both a lot of expectations and a fair degree of aspiration. I aim to help transform Samsung into a digital powerhouse. My ambition is that Samsung will be recognised as the leader in social media and that the digital marketing bar will be raised well and truly to global best practice level. It’s a tough ask but I’ve got a huge advantage because Samsung is already the number 1 brand in Asia, and one of the top 10 in the world. They also have top notch talent and great agency partners.

If you have any ideas, are already working at Samsung or at one of Samsung’s agencies, please reach out – I’d love to hear from you on how we can make Samsung the digital leader. It’s a really exciting time in my life and I look forward to working with you.
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